What To Expect The First 24 Hours After Birth

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newborn baby

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Giving birth is a truly amazing experience. Although it’s painful, a whirlwind of emotions and events, it is an incredible experience that ultimately leads you to your new baby. If you’re about to have your first baby, you might be wondering what you’re in for when it comes to giving birth. The following is a list of what to expect in the first 24 hours after giving birth. Although your individual circumstances may vary, this list will cover some things that commonly happen in the first day after birth.

First 5 Minutes After Birth

When your baby is forst born, the doctors will clear the airway, and in many cases, place the baby on your chest. The exception would be if the baby is in distress or needs just a little but more attention, in which case they might tend to the baby before reuniting you two. They will cut the cord, or, have your partner do so. They will then check the baby over to find out it’s APGAR score. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the APGAR test is a measure of a newborn’s overall well-being. This test is done at 1 minute after birth, and then again at 5 minutes after birth.

First Hour After Birth

Based on what we know about mother and child bonding after birth, the first hour is a crucial time. According to Sanford Health, this is known as the “Golden Hour”, and medical practitioners now do their best to make sure that this time is kept for the mother and baby to bond. During this time, the baby is given to the mother for “skin to skin” contact, and they can try to initiate breastfeeding. In most cases where there are no pressing issues with either mother or baby, any procedures that need to be done won’t be started until after this time.

First 2-5 Hours After Birth

After the Golden Hour has passed, your baby may get bathed, get a Vitamin K shot administered, and may potentially receive eye ointment. They may also receive the heel prick test. You may get the chance to have a shower, and the nurses may do some monitoring of your vitals, as well as check how your postpartum bleeding is doing. During this time you will likely be close my your baby, and beginning the process of breastfeeding. During this time you may be transferred to another room where you can get more comfortable with your baby.

After 12 Hours

Chances are, by this point you may have been helped out by hospital staff to learn to bathe and swaddle your baby. You will also be likely starting to track their diapers, which can help with assessing how their feeding is going. The baby’s first poops will be very sticky and tar-like, called meconium. As time goes on, you will start to see the regular poop types of a newborn. By now, you may have seen a lactation consultant, should you be trying to breastfeed. If you are bottle-feeding, you will have started with that as well.

First 24 Hours of Life

In the first day, your baby will be checked again by a doctor, and you will also be monitored. You can bleed quite heavily postpartum, and hospital staff will want to make sure that both you and your baby are safe and healthy before sending you home. You may continue to track your baby’s wet and dirty diapers, and you will be given instructions on things to look for both in your child, and in your own postpartum bleeding.

It’s important to remember that every birth is different.

Although these are some things that happen in the first 24 hours after birth, it doesn’t necessarily meant that it will absolutely go this way for you. There are a variety of factors that can influence what happens after your baby is born that may change or disrupt this typical schedule. That doesn’t mean that there is necessarily any reason to fret either.

The most important thing is to enjoy those first 24 hours with your new baby. Gaze into each others eyes and get to know one another. Although it is a whirlwind time, it is also a magical time for bonding between parents and child.